Delta City Council voted this morning to approve a controversial development plan for a 500-acre parcel of land in southeast Tsawwassen known commonly as the Southlands.

Councillors voted 5-1 in favour of the development proposal just after 10:30 a.m. PT Friday morning. The development plan will now go before the board of Metro Vancouver for more debate.

Delta Southlands vote

Opponents of the Southlands development have taken to wearing red, while supporters have been wearing green to council meetings. (Steve Lus/CBC)

Developer Century Group owns 530 acres of farmland near Boundary Bay and Beach Grove and wants to build 950 homes on the property, in addition to approximately 80,000 square feet of commercial space.

Opponents of the plan have argued that the development will swell the population by some 2,700 people, adding untold cars to the region's crowded roads and threatening the local ecosystem. The area is immediately adjacent to Boundary Bay Regional Park, part of the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds.

But Delta Mayor Lois Jackson has said no law can bar Century Group from applying to develop the land.

Map: Southlands development area and proposals

The Corporation of Delta is reviewing a proposed amendment of the official community plan for the Southlands properties, which would see 20 per cent of the land used for residential, commercial and institutional uses.Various rezoning applications are part of the changes to the 217 hectares. Information on this map is an approximation only as of July 2013. For updates, visit the Corporation of Delta's website.

View Delta Southlands rezoning proposal in a larger map